Pa. reporting system tracks hepatitis A
- By Trudy Walsh
- Nov 20, 2003
A public health reporting system was good medicine for Pennsylvania health officials battling an outbreak of hepatitis A that, at press time, had killed three people and sickened more than 500.
On Oct. 31, an emergency room doctor in Pittsburgh called the state Health Department, said Michelle S. Davis, deputy secretary for health planning and assessment. 'He had seen several people with the same symptoms,' she said.
Department officials checked Pennsylvania's National Electronic Disease Surveillance System (PA-NEDSS) for similar cases. Sure enough, the Web reporting system indicated a few other cases in the same area. All the victims had eaten at a Chi-Chi's restaurant in Monaca, Pa., about 20 miles northwest of Pittsburgh.
Trudy Walsh is a senior writer for GCN.